Linda Barnard

Linda Barnard

Award-winning film and travel writer
Travel Media Association of Canada, Society of American Travel Writers, Toronto Film Critics Association
My company is Spellbound: captivating writing


Taj Mahal 101: Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Monument to Love

It's more than just viewing a pretty building, and you'll get the most out of the experience if you've read our need-to-know guide. Editor’s Note: The Taj Mahal is on Fodor’s 2018 No List due to scheduled renovation work throughout much of the year. With so much to see, taste, and experience in colorful, chaotic, thrilling India, you may be tempted to give the Taj Mahal a pass. Link to Story

Beaches make great galleries

Toronto residents don’t let winter get in the way of hitting the beach — or getting creative. This month, artists are erecting temporary installations — ranging from fanciful-to-thought-provoking as WinterStations launches its fourth annual exhibition Feb. 19 on the shores of Lake Ontario.
American Way in-flight magazine Link to Story

Eating your way through Montreal’s Jewish history

In 1938, a lucky poker win turned one-time busboy Moishe Lighter into a restaurant owner. Lighter’s son, Lenny, tells the story before chopped liver, filet poutine and sliced rib steak is served on the white linen-covered table at the place his dad won and turned into legendary Moishes Steakhouse. Stories add flavour to the feast in exploring Montreal’s traditional Jewish neighbourhoods of Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile End.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Fodor’s Go List 2018: No. 11: Prince Edward Island

Why It’s Wonderful: Prince Edward Island is an irresistible combination of rolling green hills and excellent beaches and seascapes, with bountiful shellfish, a gentle pace and a lively music scene. Link to Story

Helen Mirren: Joy of onscreen reunion with Donald Sutherland

As straight-talking southerner Ella Spencer in senior road trip comedy-drama The Leisure Seeker, Canadian Club rye on the rocks is Helen Mirren’s cocktail-hour usual. Canadian actor Donald Sutherland plays Ella’s longtime husband, John, and their pairing marks an onscreen reunion for the actors.
The Toronto Star/ Link to Story

5 places to look for Harry Potter in Edinburgh

We wandered the same cobblestone streets, dark winding passages and graveyard paths here as J.K. Rowling did in the company of professional guide Ross Tillbrook to find links to the magical world of a boy wizard. Here are five. Victoria Street: Slip down the narrow Fisher’s Close off the Royal Mile to a second-floor terrace for the best view of the colourful, curved 19th-century street.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Canadian films 'telling universal stories' head to Sundance, Slamdance fests

Two islands — one that risks being swallowed by the ocean because of climate change, the other the fictitious home of director Wes Anderson's stop-motion animation dogs — are among the subjects Canadians are exploring at the 34th Sundance Film Festival. Canada has 11 films and two VR works premiering at Sundance, which kicks off Thursday and runs through Jan. 28 in the mountain resort town of Park City, Utah, not far from Salt Lake City.
The Canadian Press Link to Story

Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell back on the dance floor with Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Scene in new film with Annette Bening gracefully expresses characters’ ‘sexual gravitation’ toward each other, says actor. His breakout role in the 2000 British smash Billy Elliot saw the 14-year-old newcomer doing some spirited footwork to T. Rex’s “I Love to Boogie” alongside Julie Walters as the dance teacher who encourages his dream to be a ballet dancer.
The Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Follow in Harry Potter’s tracks to explore the magic of England and Scotland

To take a trip back 20 years with Harry Potter, be open to magic and board a train. After all, a delayed train to London is where writer J.K. Rowling dreamed up the story of a boy wizard that led to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997. It’s fitting trains are involved in tracking Rowling’s inspirations for seven Harry Potter books and the eight films made from them, taking us to London, Oxford, Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands to mark the book’s anniversary.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

How to go shellfish foraging in P.E.I.

Malpeque Bay, P.E.I. Turns out there’s some truth to that saying about being “happy as a clam.”. On the way to Malpeque Bay to forage for shellfish with PEI Coastal Experiences’ owner, John Martin, the question was irresistible. “The way I see it, a clam lives in a spot all of its life, and when it finds a secure spot, it grows to be a lovely clam and is content to be (there),” said Martin, who seems to know just about everything about Prince Edward Island clams and their shellfish cousins.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Life-changing role in A Fantastic Woman has trans performer looking ahead

Daniela Vega will play a cisgender woman in next film and says her ‘creativity has no limits.’. Transgender Chilean actress Daniela Vega says there “are no limits” to the roles she can play. Take her mesmerizing breakout role of aspiring singer Marina Vidal in director Sebastian Lelio’s Oscar-nominated A Fantastic Woman, opening Feb. 9.
The Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Natalie Novak was no more than 5 years old and she was fearless.

A grinning little girl. A Muskoka lake. A summer day. On the dock, she did not hesitate. She flew down the water slide into the lake, splashing into water over her head, making sure to do it when her parents, Dawn and Ed, weren’t looking. She was the opposite of most kids, who holler: “Mom, look!
Western University Link to Story


Linda Barnard

A freelance travel writer for Toronto Star, Fodor's , American Way in-flight magazine, TravelPulse Canada, Canadian Traveller, PlanetWare, food writer for Edible Toronto and film writer for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Movie Entertainment Magazine and others, I have more than three decades of experience in deadline-driven digital and print journalism. I'm the former movie writer and a staff film critic at the Toronto Star and a National Newspaper Awards winner (Arts & Entertainment) and winner Best International Travel Story, SATW Canadian Chapter. I have extensive experience as a restaurant critic and food, wine and cocktail writer.
My creative content clients include Telefilm Canada, The Globe and Mail and Star Metro Media.
I write eloquent speeches, craft well-written targeted content and can provide media training.